Itzamna: Supreme God of Mayan Mythology

As the title of the article tells you: Itzamna was one of the most important deities in Mayan mythology.

Considered the master of the sky and the succession of days and nights (yes, just that), we are talking here about a being who was among the most adored by the ancient peoples of Central America.

In many Mayan myths and legends, Itzamna acts heroically, even providing early humans with the moral and cultural foundations necessary to build a civilization.

We will see him a little later, but some of the things he offered to humanity are among the most precious. ..

In short, without further ado, let's take a look at this astonishing Mayan god!

Contents :

The different ways of representing it

The great bird of the sky

Other information about Itzamna

Toothless and smiling old man in an alley of a Mexican town

The different ways of representing it

Like many gods of the Mayan pantheon, Itzamna is presented to us in different forms. Sometimes resembling a human, sometimes like animals, it can even be found in the form of a simple symbol.

From ancient codices to the walls of temples found in the jungle, including the writings of the Spanish conquistadors: we actually have enough traces and information on him to know who Itzamna was.

Typically, he was depicted as a kindly old man whose smile reveals toothless gums. Its other characteristics are then a gigantic nose and square eyes.

In his human form, he also often wears a large cylindrical headdress typical of certain Mayan priest castes.

Really, if you pass by Itzamna in this form, you won't be able to miss him.

Another way of representing it that is unique to say the least is that of the two-headed caiman.

In Mayan mythology, this form of the god is often used to represent the duality of the universe as the Ancients saw it.

Let us also point out that this giant reptile has the particularity of transforming into a skeleton when it visits the underworld (that of the dead), thus designating the close link which exists between the creator god and death.

Mayan copal resin, a jaguar head bracelet and a Hunab Ku amulet

The secrets of the Mayans

lucky charms of pre-Columbian America


The great bird of the sky

Legends from pre-Columbian cultures often tell us of a giant bird (not to be confused with the large feathered serpent Quetzalcoalt) flying in the sky, symbol and bearer of hope and life.

Whether we are talking about the Incas, the Native Americans or the Aztecs, everyone was able to recognize the existence of such a mythological animal. Take for example this article talking about the thunderbird, a mythological creature well known to the tribes of the Northern Americas.

Among the Maya, this bird bears the name “Itzam Yeh” and is described as one of the manifestations of Itzamna.

The relationship between the god and the bird is actually quite complex.

Some stories present them to us as the same entity, Itzamna being able to literally change form to visit men in the form of Itzam Yeh.

Others tell us more about an animal living with its master.

In any case, the legendary power of Itzam Yeh is beyond doubt, the bird being presented as "carrying the days and nights in the hollow of its wings" and possessing a "sharp beak capable of defeating any force of the wrong ".

Note also that many neighboring civilizations (Aztec, Toltec, Olmec, etc.) had a comparable vision of the figure of the bird, making it a powerful god.

Archaeological site of an ancient Mayan temple in ruins.

Other information about Itzamna

Itzamna is therefore known as a creator, or more precisely the one who provided humanity with the knowledge necessary for its development.

He thus taught the ancestors of the Mayans things like:

  • Writing
  • Agriculture and livestock
  • Medicine
  • Sculpture and architecture

Sacred myths also tell us about how he created the famous Mayan calendar (yes, Itzamna is also the source of this) or how he was able to heal the sick, even going so far as to resurrect the dead.

The Mayan civilization is incredibly deep. She created some of the fiercest warriors and learned priests, performed human sacrifices but paid homage to nature, fought ardently against the Aztecs but allowed the Spanish conquest to take place freely by the conquistadors.

Truly, this culture is amazing in many ways and understanding the messages of Itzamna, their supreme deity can help us acquire great wisdom.

If you liked this article, then take a look at our collection of symbols and magical objects from Mayan culture.

The stories associated with each object you find there will undoubtedly please history and folklore lovers!

author picture(Cyril Gendarme)

Discover the author: Cyril Gendarme

Cyril Gendarme is a writer whose website "The Lucky Door" ("La Porte Du Bonheur" in French, his native language) has become a reference in the field of esotericism. Born in Belgium, Cyril has been attracted to the mysteries of the world since he was a child. When his interest in occultism was awakened, a particular subject caught his attention: lucky charms.

After years of study and in-depth research on esoteric traditions from around the world, Cyril decided to share his knowledge with the public through the internet. In 2019, he launched "The Lucky Door," a website dedicated to exploring lucky charms, magical symbols, and esoteric arts.

The Lucky Door is much more than just a showcase for those curious about magic, divination, or tradition. It is the result of Cyril's passion for researching and understanding the mysteries of the universe. Every piece of information available on the site testifies to his dedication to sharing his knowledge of the most hidden symbols and their unique powers.

In addition to his online work, Cyril regularly organizes workshops and conferences in different countries. His presence on social media is also highly appreciated, where he offers personalized advice and happily answers questions from his community.